ROADS throughout the centre of York are set to close this weekend as thousands of children are set to take to the streets.

The centre of York is set to turn once again into a spectacular sea of colour, waving flags, marching children – and the sound of marching bands on Sunday (April 21).

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Thousands of children are set to take part in the afternoon’s annual scouts’ and guides’ St George’s Day Parade.

They are set to assemble at the Eye of York at 1pm, before marching off to the Minster at about 1.20pm for a service.

The parade - which was first held in 1943 - marks its 80th anniversary last year.

York Press: Guides taking part in last year's paradeGuides taking part in last year's parade (Image: Supplied)

The route will take in Tower Street, Clifford Street, Nessgate, High Ousegate, Parliament Street, Davygate, Blake Street and Duncombe Place. 

Explorers, Scouts, Cubs, Beavers, Squirrels, Rangers, Guides, Brownies and Rainbows from York and the surrounding area, together with their volunteer leaders, in recognition of St George being the Patron Saint of Scouting.

This year’s procession, headed by the Yorkshire Volunteer Band, will start at 1.20pm from Clifford’s Tower and head through the city arriving at the Minster for 2pm.

The two organisations are hoping the community will come out in force to support them as they proudly walk through the city in their uniform and with their flags. 

The return procession to Clifford’s Tower is due to leave the Minster at 3.30pm when the salute will be taken by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of York, the Civic Party, York Central MP Rachel Maskell and commissioners from both organisations.  

York Press: An overhead shot of the Eye of York at the parade last yearAn overhead shot of the Eye of York at the parade last year (Image: Supplied)

John Ives, Creative Programme Team Lead for North Yorkshire Scouts said: "We are delighted that our VIPs are once again able to join the service this year which is being led by Canon Tim Goode, and will include items from members of Scouts and Girlguiding.

"It looks at the shared values of Girlguiding and Scouts of caring, including and empowering and gives thanks for our founders of Lord and Lady Baden Powell."

Alison Cunningham, county commissioner for Girlguiding North Yorkshire South said: "Whilst the older members enjoy the celebration in York Minster the Squirrels, Beavers and Rainbows are having their own event in York Central Methodist Church, led by Deacon Judith Stoddart. They will be exploring the legend of St George and what that can teach us about being kind and helpful."  

The return procession to Clifford’s Tower usually leaves the Minster at 3.30pm and roads will reopen after 4pm.

St George is both the patron saint of England and the patron saint of scouting.

According to legend, he was a Roman cavalry officer who converted to Christianity and pleaded with thr Emperor Diocletian to stop the persecution of Christians.

The emperor had him executed instead, the leegend says. April 23 is St George’s Day because that is the day on which he is said to have died, in 303 AD.

York Press: The parade start in 2023The parade start in 2023 (Image: Supplied)